Goodreads: Blood and Moonlight
Age Category: Young Adult
Publication Date: June 28, 2022
In this medieval YA fantasy thriller, an orphan with a secret, magical sight gets caught between a mysterious genius and the serial killer he’s hunting.
Rising above the city of Collis is the holy Sanctum. And watching over its spires is Catrin, an orphan girl with unique skills—for she alone can spot the building’s flaws in construction before they turn deadly.
But when Catrin witnesses a murderer escaping the scene of his crime, she’s pulled into the web of a dangerous man who will definitely strike again. Assigned to capture the culprit is the mysterious, brilliant, and enigmatic Simon, whose insights into the mind of a killer are frighteningly accurate.
As the grisly crimes continue, Catrin finds herself caught between murderer and detective while hiding her own secret—a supernatural sight granted by the moon, destined to make her an outcast, and the only thing that might save her and those she loves from becoming the next victims . . .
Blood and Moonlight combines medieval architecture, a murder mystery, and fantasy to create a compelling story unique in the YA scene. Multi-faceted characters kept me riveted to the pages, as they attempted to get into the mind of a serial killer and stop him before his victims pile even higher.
To some extent, I think this is the book Four Dead Queens hoped to be (and failed, in my opinion). It expertly combines three genres — historical fiction, fantasy, and mystery — and does it seamlessly. The “main” plot is solving the murder, but Cat’s magic powers are integral to the process, as is her status as a worker at the Sanctum and her knowledge of architecture. None of the parts seem out of place or as if they are distracting from the others. They are all fully developed, from the magic system to the world building, and they work together perfectly. The result is a book that feels different, even if you’re an avid reader of YA fantasy.
Personally, I did find the lengthy discussions of what the killer was doing and probably thinking a bit much, and at times I didn’t really “get” it — and then I struggled with not connecting with it or thinking it sounded right because I have to believe that the author spent a lot of time researching the minds of serial killers while I have . . . spent literally zero time doing so. That is, the author and the characters are probably right, so I’m not quite sure why some of the speculation sounded off to me.
The best part is: I really had no idea who the killer was throughout the entire novel. I was like the characters themselves, going back and forth suspecting one person, then another, then another, then the first person. I couldn’t figure it out, and I always love a book that is truly unpredictable.
This is a must-read book this year for anyone who loves YA.